Split slate today, where we have 3 early games to go along with 7 night games with some unappealing match-ups and run totals at this point in the morning. One of the games has the best pitcher (I consider Harvey to be better than Keuchel overall) of the day going but yet an over/under of 8.5, which is the highest of the 10 games. It is going to be tricky to navigate the action today. Make sure you read my other thoughts section to get a feel for how I am going to play this tricky slate.
Cubs @ Nationals(-125) 7
Reds @ Phillies(-115) 7
Mets(-145) @ Diamondbacks 8.5
Cardinals @ Dodgers(-105) 7
Athletics @ Tigers(-125) 8
Orioles @ Astros(-160) 7
Twins @ Red Sox(-150) 8.5
White Sox @ Rangers(-130) 8.5
Indians @ Royals(-120) 7.5
Rays @ Mariners(-135) 7
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros (FD $9800, DK $10,000) – Keuchel and the Astros are the biggest favorite on the board in this one as they are sitting at -160 in a game with an over/under of just 7 runs. Keuchel has been one of the top 4 or 5 pitchers in all of baseball this season and should be able to rack up the strikeouts against the swing and miss happy Baltimore Orioles today. The pitching slate is pretty rough, especially in the early games and Keuchel will definitely be 100% owned in cash and GPP’s should find his ownership level at 70%+ I would assume. For that reason, you will find me talking about his opposing pitcher in the GPP plays section as he makes a somewhat contrarian option.
Matt Harvey, NY Mets (FD $10,700, DK $10,400) – Harvey has not been his absolute dominating self of late, however he showed in his last start that he can get hit around and still rack up K’s and fantasy points as he gave up 4 earned in 8 innings but struck out 11 en route to a loss and 27.8 DK points. He and the Mets are -145 favorites on the road in this one and the game has an over/under of 8.5 which is the highest of the day/night. The D’Backs have been playing good ball and Chase Field is definitely a hitter’s park.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (FD $9600, DK $9600) – Arrieta has looked a little rough over his last 2 starts as he has given up 10 runs, 7 earned and 15 hits over 13 innings pitched while allowing 4 home runs and striking out 12. The Nationals can be a difficult offense to go up against, but I think Arrieta could be in a great spot if he can avoid Bryce Harper and limit his opportunities. The Cubs and Nationals recently played a 3 game series that saw just 11 total runs scored, so I expect this series to be dominated by pitching.
Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox (FD $6800, DK $5600) – We saw last night what a left handed pitcher can do against the Texas Rangers and even though Rodon is nowhere near what Sale is at this point I think he can have similar success as the lineup the Rangers try against left handers is far from terrifying. This game does tie for the highest over/under at 8.5 runs and the Rangers are the -130 favorite, but I think Rodon makes a fine option at an SP2 or even SP3 (Fantasy Feud, check out our review!) spot.
Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics (FD $7500, DK $6100) – I went back and forth in this game as to which pitcher would be recommended as Shane Green has shown us gems this year but he has also been atrocious at times. Hahn is pitching slightly better and threw a complete game shutout against these Tigers just 2 starts ago. The Tigers are a -125 favorite in this one with an over/under of 8 runs. I just like the A’s lefties against Greene more than I like the Tigers righty heavy lineup against Hahn.
Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles (FD $7400, DK $7600) – Like I said earlier, Wei-Yin Chen finds himself in the GPP plays section as a contrarian play to those that will be riding Keuchel today. The early pitching slate is really ugly and in GPP’s you will need to take a chance on somebody along with Keuchel or instead of Keuchel as I pointed out what I think his ownership %’s will be. Chen is certainly capable of getting knocked around as he recently gave up 11 hits in 5 innings to these Astros, but he still managed to K 6 hitters. Chen will not be in any cash game lineups for me but I will be rolling him out in a GPP somewhere as he certainly could provide a boost at a low ownership % if he is on.
Michael Wacha, St Louis Cardinals (FD $8900, DK $8700) – Wacha’s last start was against this same Dodgers team and it was less than inspiring as he went 5.2 and gave up 4 runs on just 3 hits, but he walked 3 to go along with 7 strikeouts. It was not his sharpest of starts but he showed off a better strikeout rate than he had been earlier this season and the Dodgers are coming off of a late game last night with all the delays and may not be too well rested in this one and I think that could provide a little boost to Wacha. On the other hand, the offense is extremely dangerous and that is why you find him here in the GPP plays section. The Dodgers are just a -105 favorite, so basically a pick’em, in a game with an over/under of just 7 runs.
Houston Astros: George Springer (FD $3600, DK $4400), Jose Altuve (FD $3800, DK $4800), Evan Gattis (FD $4200, DK $4800), Chris Carter (FD $3000, DK $4400) – I know I just wrote about Chen as a GPP play above and I definitely mean he is a GPP play as this Astros team leads the world in strikeouts and have one of the lowest averages in all of baseball. However, this offense is very potent and they throw out a handful of guys that have destroyed left handed pitching in their careers. Chen has struggled against the Astros roster in his career and I definitely lean towards a big day for their bats, however I think this stack is extremely high owned in a lack-luster early slate.
Chicago White Sox: Adam Eaton (FD $2700, DK $3900), Jose Abreu (FD $3500, DK $5300), Adam LaRoche (FD $2800, DK $3900), Avisail Garcia (FD $2500, DK $4300) – A little shocked to be putting the White Sox here as I would have never thought I would be highly recommending a stack of their lineup, but here we are. The White Sox offense has been heating up of late and get to face Gallardo tonight in a game with an over/under of 8.5 runs. This is a tough lineup to stack as the 2 most potent players are listed at the same position which makes it tough on FD and DK but you can make them both fit on FF and FA. I lean towards Garcia over Melky because, well, I think Garcia is just more dangerous at this point than Melky is.
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia (FD $3000, DK $4300), Mookie Betts (FD $3000, DK $4700), Hanley Ramirez (FD $3600, DK $5100) – I will start out by adding in Mike Napoli and possibly even David Ortiz for this stack as I think the lefty on lefty match-up is not the worst for him. The reason I did not include this as a stud stack is because since being sent down to Triple-A, Tommy Milone has made some changes and managed a 0.70 ERA in 38.2 innings while sporting a 47:3 K to BB ratio. If Milone was available to use on all sites I would have included him in the GPP plays section as I think he makes an interesting option.
Tampa Bay Rays: Joey Butler (FD $2700, DK $3600), Evan Longoria (FD $3200, DK $3800), Logan Forsythe (FD $3000, DK $3200), Steven Souza Jr. (FD $3500, DK $4200) – I always like the Rays against a lefty as they tend to be under owned and have some righties in their lineup that just mash against left handed pitching. I would love to include Guyer but he is generally immediately pinch hit for as soon as a right hander comes into the game as we saw last night and that was after just 2 at-bats. If you wanted to make a full 6 man stack on DK, I could make an argument for including Elmore and Rivera as they hit lefties pretty well and are very cheap.
The games today leave a lot to be desired as it is not all that intriguing from a fantasy point of view. With that said, there is still plenty of money to be won and somebody is going to win it, so why not us? As far as weather goes, I am seeing some rain in Washington as of this morning but everything I have seen so far has all games being good to go tonight which is always a positive (who braved the game at Coors last night?). Is tonight the night that Aaron Harang realizes he is nearly 40 year old Aaron Harang and starts getting knocked around? I am leaning towards yes as I think I like a few of the Reds bats in this one, especially Votto and Frazier. I really like left handed hitters on two teams I have not mentioned yet and those two are the Mariners as well as the Mets. I think the likes of Duda, Murphy, Granderson, Cano, Seth Smith and Kyle Seager are in intriguing spots and may have just talked myself into some sort of left handed hitter stack combination.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
(I do think Joc Pederson, Steven Souza and Chris Carter stay hot with more HR’s tonight too)